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Brunetti Cutting Down On “Disasters” As UM Opener Approaches

The good news is Ole Miss quarterback Barry Brunetti improved during Wednesday’s practice.  The bad news is his coach’s use of the word “disaster” to describe some of his play during Tuesday’s practice.

New offensive coordinator David Lee is happy with Brunetti’s improvement since being named the team’s opening day starter, but a ringing endorsement this is not:

“I wasn’t excited about (Tuesday’s practice).  Barry Brunetti had numerous errors.  Had nine and about three of them were disasters.

I thought he really improved today and cut it to about six or five, which is what you like to see happen as we get closer and closer to the BYU game.”

With Randall Mackey suspended for the opener, Lee says Zack Stoudt will be “ready to go” if needed.  “We’ll see how Barry does.  If he’s doing well, we’ll stay right there with Barry.”

Just as long as avoids disasters.

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Ole Miss Lands Quarterback For 2012

Ole Miss has received a commitment from quarterback C.J. Beathard from Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tenn.

Ole Miss is the first school to offer a scholarship to Beathard, according to He becomes the fourth commitment in the class of 2012 for Ole Miss.

The Rebels have received a few good news items with the quarterback position in the last week. It was last Monday that quarterback transfer Barry Brunetti received a hardship waiver that will allow him to play right away this fall.

Brunetti is expected to battle with Randall Mackey and junior college transfer Zack Stoudt for the starting quarterback position this fall.

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NCAA Clears Brunetti To Play At UM This Fall

The NCAA has granted quarterback Barry Brunetti a hardship waiver clearing the way for the West Virginia quarterback to play for Ole Miss this fall.  The Memphis native now gives Houston Nutt three scholarship quarterbacks with whom to work.

Brunetti broke the news on Twitter today:

I am #blessed to say that the NCAA has cleared me to play this year…God is Good..thankyul. #Hottytoddy.

The dual-threat QB will compete with Randall Mackey — the assumed leader at this point — and juco transfer Zack Stoudt for the Rebels’ starting job.

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Nutt Says Stanley Got Better (Just Not “Better” Enough)

Nathan Stanley twice looked like the heir apparent for the Ole Miss starting quarterback job.  Neither time did things work out as he had planned.  And now that’s led him to seek a transfer.

Houston Nutt told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger yesterday: “Nathan’s gotten better.  This was by far his best winter offseason. … He’s in the best shape he’s been in.  Was throwing the ball good.  But I think once the other quarterbacks separated themselves a little bit, boy, that’s where that depression hits in and you see like, ‘Oh, here we go again,’ and, ‘I just have two seasons left,’ and as all quarterbacks want to do, they want to play, and they want to play now.  I understand that.  He wants to go start somewhere, and that’s the bottom line.”

With Stanley gone, UM now has Randall Mackey and Zack Stoudt at quarterback.  Barry Brunetti might also be available if the NCAA grants him a hardship waiver in his transfer from West Virginia.  None of the three have started a game for the Rebels.

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UM’s Stanley To Transfer

Ole Miss quarterback Nathan Stanley met with Houston Nutt yesterday and told him that he would be transferring from the Rebel program.  It ends a career of almosts and nearlys for the junior.

At the end of the 2009 season, Stanley was viewed as the man who would replace departing Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead.  He held the job through spring practice and the summer of 2010… right up until Jeremiah Masoli arrived in Oxford and got his clearance from the NCAA.

With Masoli out of the picture in 2011, Stanley figured to have a good shot at finally, actually landing the starting job this spring.  Randall Mackey was back as his main competition.  But then the Rebels signed juco transfer Zack Stoudt, too.  And then Nutt brought in another transfer in Barry Brunetti who was leaving West Virginia.

Quickly, Stanley found himself deep on the quarterback depth chart, getting fewer and fewer reps.  Message received.

“After meeting tonight, Nathan has decided to leave the program,” Nutt said via press release last night.  “We wish him the best and are going to help him find a new school.  I appreciate all he has done for Ole Miss and the type of student-athlete he has been.”

And like that… he’s gone.  (Much like Keyser Soze.)

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Writer: Mackey Is The Clear QB Leader At UM

Randall Mackey emerged from last weekend’s scrimmage with what was believed to be a slight lead in Ole Miss’ quarterback competition — ahead of Nathan Stanley, Barry Brunetti and Zack Stoudt.

Houston Nutt praised Mackey for overcoming a speech impediment that plagued him last season.  But he didn’t give Mackey the nod as a starter.  Not yet anyway.

Parrish Alford of The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal believes that could change at some point:

On Saturday we huddled as a small group of media in the west side stands in a cooperative stat-keeping effort.  When the scrimmage ended a gentleman walked by and said, “Boys, it ain’t even close.”

I tend to agree, and the eyes tell me the leader is clearly Randall Mackey.

Alford also points out that new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach David Lee has “heaped high praise on Mackey from Day 1.”  Alford sounds so sure of Mackey’s advantage in the quarterback derby that he think Brunetti — a transfer from West Virginia — might be better off dropping the hardship request he’s made to the NCAA.

If the “competition” maintains its current course, it might be in the best interests of Brunetti and the program to disregard the waiver request and take the redshirt.  That way Ole Miss could set itself up for a mobile, play-making starter for two years beyond Mackey.

For the record, Mackey wasn’t expected to be the guy in Oxford this year.  Most — ourselves included — expected the former juco transfer to use his athleticism at receiver or in UM’s Wild Rebel package.

But if the reports coming out of Mississippi are to be believed, Mackey might be on the field a whole lot more than expected this fall.

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Tuesday Afternoon One-Liners

Here are some afternoon links in the recruiting world.

Could Florida coach Will Muschamp go back to Texas — to land some recruits?

This story points out that Muschamp is already winning on the recruiting trail.

Wide receiver Marvin Shinn explains why he committed to Alabama early in the recruiting process.

Here’s a nice report on Ole Miss quarterback commit Zack Stoudt.

Glades Central receiver Kelvin Benjamin has delayed his college decision.

Chip Towers of the AJC has plenty of recruiting notes in today’s Ten@10.

Who are the nation’s best tight end prospects? ESPN takes a look.

Is offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio really considering New Mexico? He visited last weekend.

Here are some notes from a cold start to the week at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Jadeveon Clowney was called unblockable at times during Monday’s Shrine Bowl practice. Makes sense.

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